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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan McNary View Post
    I understand there is a sizable group in the ultralight community that does not filter or treat their water before drinking it.
    If you happen to not filter your water is it across the board that you never filter or is it dependent on location?
    Thoughts on this?


    Thanks!
    Filtered water often tastes better than unfiltered. Safe or not, I prefer to have the option to filter.

  2. #82
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    I like my Steripen quite a bit. My favorite use for it is hiking in areas where there is plenty of water, so I don't carry any water with me and just stop, fill up my 0.5 liter cup with water, stir and drink, relax a minute, then keep hiking. Larger volumes do start getting tedious because stirring continuously to collect more than a liter or two of water is somehow more annoying than filtering larger amounts. Also, larger filtering tasks work well with gravity filtering which is awesome.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyPaper View Post
    Filtered water often tastes better than unfiltered. Safe or not, I prefer to have the option to filter.
    And visa-versa. That statement sounds like the kids I grew up with that preferred chlorinated water because it was what they were used to. Hey, it seems to have worked fine for them even if it wasn't my choice.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  4. #84
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I hiked for years/decades without treating, but there are a lot more people and other critters in the woods than there were then. Can't count how many times I've taken water from a stream, then found piles of moose turds or other nasty stuff upstream. Since then, I've also met a microbiologist. I choose to treat, and always bring 2 methods from the list of filters, aquamira, and Steripen. None of them weigh too much or are much of a hassle, at least not for me.

  5. #85
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    Another one here who really likes the Steripen. Mine is the "Adventurer Opti" that I bought years ago, which does require two C123 batteries, but that is the only downside and one I happily put up with. Fast, easy, has never failed me. I think I've purchased batteries 4 times in 12+ years (I remove them between uses.) I know that it works fine in colder temps, and I don't have to stress about it freezing like I would with a Sawyer (I keep it in my pants pocket in freezing temps.)

    There are places/types of water where I prefer a mechanical filter such as a Sawyer -- say, for instance, if I'm getting water from lakes or ponds and the water is summertime smelly...then filtering the water is preferable, just to help the taste.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSpirits View Post
    There are places/types of water where I prefer a mechanical filter such as a Sawyer -- say, for instance, if I'm getting water from lakes or ponds and the water is summertime smelly...then filtering the water is preferable, just to help the taste.
    A person won't be backpacking too long before he runs into this type of situation and will be glad he has something to actually filter the water.

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    I hiked for years/decades without treating, but there are a lot more people and other critters in the woods than there were then. Can't count how many times I've taken water from a stream, then found piles of moose turds or other nasty stuff upstream. Since then, I've also met a microbiologist. I choose to treat, and always bring 2 methods from the list of filters, aquamira, and Steripen. None of them weigh too much or are much of a hassle, at least not for me.
    Filters are great for those of us who got giardia back in the '70s and '80s---when few backpackers carried any type of filter.

    And Deadeye is right about more humans in the woods. I was backpacking Grassy Branch trail and started at the trailhead off the road and found a pile of human poop with wads of tp right in the headwaters of Grassy Branch Creek. Later when I camped way down the trail I was afraid to rely just on my filter so I boiled a pot.

    Two other scenarios---
    ** Backpacking up North Fork Creek in Citico I stumbled on a half-eaten dead horse laying right in the water.
    ** Backpacking down South Fork in Citico I got hit with a terrible stink and discovered a dead deer carcass in the creek. Oops.

    And don't forget how wild pigs like to use spring heads to dig out the dirt in the water and make resting places in the cool mud. Oops, we're now drinking pig juices.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSpirits View Post
    There are places/types of water where I prefer a mechanical filter such as a Sawyer -- say, for instance, if I'm getting water from lakes or ponds and the water is summertime smelly...then filtering the water is preferable, just to help the taste.
    On my first AT hike, when I came off a long dry ridge walk on a hot summer day I took quite a long time filtering at the first stream I got to, which was at a beaver dam just down stream from a big cow pasture. The water was pretty sketchy but I knew I had another long dry ridge walk coming up so I figured I'd better camel up. Then about a mile later I came across a beautiful clear stream coming down the mountain. So I dumped all my cow pasture beaver dam water and re-filtered. I guess I would have saved a lot of time if I had just read the guide book.

  9. #89

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    Like some said before... depends on where you are and your personal preference.

    I do most of my backpacking in the Catskills NY n havent filtered in over 50 years without incident. BUT then again you dont see Mexicans suffering with their terrable water do ya?... think they became immune?

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average Hiker View Post
    Filter's or chemicals are so light now, and it's not worth sending a hike sideways to not carry a few ounces.


    that's how i see it as well....

    while ive never had giardia----i've had enough other GI problems that it only makes sense to filter...

    especially when my main areas of hiking are the areas around GSMNP.....

  11. #91
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    Since I have a well and I live rural by creeks and pasture with cattle.I filter everything,. Since my area the AT is rural and by pastures.
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  12. #92

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    Backpacking filters won't remover viruses but are very effective at larger nasties such as crypto.

    Cholorine dioxide will take a pretty long time to deactivate protozoa (crypo) but nuke virus.

    UV light does not work the greatest in turbid water and the bulb is susceptible to breaking. A prefilter is needed to assure effectiveness.

    Boiling will kill everything. Maybe a stove is a good idea.

    Unless the water is coming right out of rock at higher elevation (no houses or farms above), I can't see the harm of a little chlorine dioxide and filtration

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    On my first AT hike, when I came off a long dry ridge walk on a hot summer day I took quite a long time filtering at the first stream I got to, which was at a beaver dam just down stream from a big cow pasture. The water was pretty sketchy but I knew I had another long dry ridge walk coming up so I figured I'd better camel up. Then about a mile later I came across a beautiful clear stream coming down the mountain. So I dumped all my cow pasture beaver dam water and re-filtered. I guess I would have saved a lot of time if I had just read the guide book.
    What if that second stream the book indicated was there came up dry? Many reliable water sources in the Northeast did during the recent droughts. Filling up when you are out at the first source you find is a good idea. I am perhaps biased having run out of water in deep summer before and known water sources had dried up makes me a bit hypersensitive to this issue, however the bird in the hand in this case would be the correct move. The only thing lost was a few minutes of filtering time by changing out the water from a sketchy source with water from a better source.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Backpacking filters won't remover viruses but are very effective at larger nasties such as crypto.

    Cholorine dioxide will take a pretty long time to deactivate protozoa (crypo) but nuke virus.

    UV light does not work the greatest in turbid water and the bulb is susceptible to breaking. A prefilter is needed to assure effectiveness.

    Boiling will kill everything. Maybe a stove is a good idea.

    Unless the water is coming right out of rock at higher elevation (no houses or farms above), I can't see the harm of a little chlorine dioxide and filtration
    This is why you see signs in places like national parks says "boil all water", because they know it's the only way to ensure the water is safe.
    Seems they always have to publish information to the lowest common denominator

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    This is why you see signs in places like national parks says "boil all water", because they know it's the only way to ensure the water is safe.
    Seems they always have to publish information to the lowest common denominator
    Many have poor reading comprehension or they only read what they want to believe.

  16. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by camper10469 View Post
    Like some said before... depends on where you are and your personal preference.

    I do most of my backpacking in the Catskills NY n havent filtered in over 50 years without incident. BUT then again you dont see Mexicans suffering with their terrable water do ya?... think they became immune?
    Countries with water treatment issues absolutely have issues with increased incidence of corresponding diseases. As an anecdotal example, I spent several months as a teenager helping with a pharmacy in Bolivia that was attached to a clinic (somewhat comparable to the modern on demand healthcare clinics we see in the US now). A large percentage of the cases that came through were people needing courses of antibiotics for things that they'd picked up through untreated water or similar sources.

    As far as Mexico specifically, there's a bit of info here:
    https://www.who.int/quantifying_ehim...exico.pdf?ua=1
    That data's a bit older, but is still relevant.

  17. #97
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    For about 50 years of living and playing outside, I have always drunk from streams without treating water and have never been diagnosed with an associated water born illness.

    That being said, with the advent of the Sawyer Squeeze (finally a small, quick and tasteless water treatment tool) I now often treat my water. The true beauty of Steripens and micro-sized filter systems is that I no longer have to be as careful about my water sources. So, I can carry less water with me and collect water more frequently and readily from sources that I would have considered risky and walked by in the past.

    So yeah, these days, I pretty much always carry water treatment with me and treat according to my mood and sense of risk at each source. For some people that would be to treat everything all the time. We now have the tools that allow us to do that without great expense in either weight, time, or money. Yahoo.

    Now, I dare you to go out and find a beautiful mountain stream and slurp raw untreated water and be one with nature! It feels great!
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    That being said, with the advent of the Sawyer Squeeze (finally a small, quick and tasteless water treatment tool) I now often treat my water. The true beauty of Steripens and micro-sized filter systems is that I no longer have to be as careful about my water sources. So, I can carry less water with me and collect water more frequently and readily from sources that I would have considered risky and walked by in the past.Now, I dare you to go out and find a beautiful mountain stream and slurp raw untreated water and be one with nature! It feels great!
    For what it's worth - if you get a chance to try the BeFree system, you may like it even better than the Sawyer. I was stunned by how high the flow rate was on it.

    Drinking untreated water from a beautiful mountain stream is definitely a great feeling. Even after a miserable bout with giardia a few years ago, I'll still take my chances from time to time if the conditions feel trustworthy enough.

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    This is why you see signs in places like national parks says "boil all water", because they know it's the only way to ensure the water is safe.
    Seems they always have to publish information to the lowest common denominator
    The one high use, high profile trail I know of where you are officially advised that water treatment is not necessary is the Kungsleden in northern Sweden.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    For what it's worth - if you get a chance to try the BeFree system, you may like it even better than the Sawyer. I was stunned by how high the flow rate was on it.

    Drinking untreated water from a beautiful mountain stream is definitely a great feeling. Even after a miserable bout with giardia a few years ago, I'll still take my chances from time to time if the conditions feel trustworthy enough.
    Do you go out in winter? If so what do you do with it in below freezing temperatures? I suppose you have to keep it from freezing, yes?

    I'm just asking because I've been using the Sawyer for awhile now but might change it up.

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